If you visited my blog within the last 24 hours, you know that on January 18th, 2012, I joined the rest of the Internet in protesting SOPA and PIPA, two bills presently being considered by legislators in the United States. And though it falls outside the purview of this blog, I think it’s relevant for me to take a moment to explain how important this is to me, and why it should be important to you. And to help you understand that, let me explain just how important this blog is to me.
Before I started Comma, Blank_, I was not very happy with my life. If you go back to the first post on this blog, entitled “Worthlessness,” you’ll get an idea of just how unhappy I was. I was struggling through the depths of severe depression. The woman I love, who I had been with since I was a teenager, had left me. I had been forced to drop out of college, and was working a dead-end job that I hated. And all of those things are still true. But Comma, Blank_ gives me hope. Comma, Blank_ makes me feel like I’m improving myself every day by forcing myself to become a better and more consistent writer. The opportunities it has granted me in the few months I’ve been writing it give me hope for even greater opportunities to come. Comma, Blank_ is my life preserver, and I cling to it tightly.
And today I shut it down. I turned away potential new hits. I prevented anyone new from discovering my work. Because stopping SOPA and PIPA is that important.
This legislation will smother the Internet to death. Blogs like my Traipsing Through the Timmverse will be shut down without trial or due process by media corporations. Let me reiterate that last part in bold: by media corporations. Not agents of the government, not duly elected officials, not judges or any part of the judicial system. That’s the kind of power Big Media is attempting to take for itself. And the United States Government is considering giving it to them.
We’re gamers, so lets put this into our own terminology. The Internet is, among many other things, a producer for entertainment. The media industry is, also, a producer of entertainment. Allowing media corporations the right to shut down sites on the Internet is like giving Wizards of the Coast the right to shut down production of any RPG don’t like. Do you trust Wizards of the Coast with the fate of your favorite indie RPG?
The Internet stands among the greatest accomplishments of our species. The very idea that someone would try to harm it should enrage you. This is a book burning for the modern age.
At this point, I’d like to direct you to something written by my friend Rilgon. He’s much more involved in the industry, and more educated on the topic, than I am. He’s written something eloquent and informative. Something everyone should read.
Whatever else you do: contact your representative. You’ve got a congressperson and two senators. That’s three phone calls.
You can do it.